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Wednesday 6 February 2013

Solent's own Ice Queen

We spoke to Tameron Drake, who studies BA (Hons) Sports Studies at Solent University. Tameron told us about her passion for pairs figure skating in the International Development Squad for Skate Team GB.

What is your biggest sporting achievement?

My biggest sporting achievement would have to be representing Team GB at the Junior World Championships. I am also very proud to have been on Team GB for ten years now, since the age of nine.

What is your proudest moment of your ice skating career?

I would have to say, every time I have been on the podium, hearing your national anthem play is definitely when I feel most proud. You then realise that all your hard work, dedication and training has paid off.

How do you manage to balance progression with your degree and the high expectation of you as a High Performance athlete?

Time management! From a young age I had to balance both school and being an athlete and the same thing has carried on now I am at Southampton Solent University. Except now I have the help of the High Performance Academy (HPA) to help me if I ever have any problems with balancing both my degree and training.

High performance training

It’s hard. I know I’m not the only athlete on High Performance who feels pressure, but sometimes that is what I work best under. Being a student and not going out for a night because of training in the morning is not the end of the world, especially when you are getting up to do something you love.

How has being a part of the High Performance Academy helped you as an athlete?

Without being a part of the High Performance Academy (HPA), I just could not keep up my training whilst studying at Solent, and I cannot stress that enough!

The HPA has provided me with excellent one-to-one strength and conditioning training sessions, which have helped improve my training on the ice. The team has also provided me with Physiotherapy treatments when I needed it as there is a full time Head Physiotherapist at Southampton Solent University.

Transport was a major issue when I came to Southampton Solent University as the nearest Olympic sized ice rink in Basingstoke. The HPA has provided transport for my training every week, so that I never missed a session.

Through the High Performance programme I have a brilliant personal mentor. I know that someone is there for me if needs be. It makes all the difference whilst being at university. As part of the High Performance Team, we have to attend workshops and lectures, which widen our knowledge as an athlete and it also lets you bond with other athletes on the programme.

Most importantly, being on the High Performance Academy, has allowed me to keep my academic studies up alongside my training.

You are part of the Ravens Cheerleader squad. Is that a complement to your ice skating training or just for fun?

Being on the Ravens Cheerleading squad is definitely becoming a big part of my life at Southampton Solent University, especially this year as I am Captain! With training most days, cheerleading has become my social life (as sad as that sounds!) The girls are great and understand what I do and I have met really amazing friends from it.

I do find I can relate some of the cheerleading moves in ice skating so, yes I think it does complement the two.

What advice would you give to any youngsters wanting to become a professional athlete?

My advice is to work hard and train harder. In every training session you go ask yourself how you can get better, stronger and how can you get better than the people you train with and compete against.

If you have the drive as an athlete and you are able to deliver in a competitive environment, then you will be successful. The High Performance Academy (HPA) will see that and will want to help continue that success, just like what they have done for me.

Most importantly, you really do have to love the sport, as you need to have that drive to become a professional athlete.

Receiving her award.

Who is your sporting role model?

I have a few sporting role models including Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean, the first ice dancers from Britain to win the Olympics in 1984. They were also the first people ever to get full marks in figure skating from all of the judges at the Olympics (this was the old marking system). Growing up, they have given me a lot of advice and help, so they are an important influence on me.

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy are the pair figure skaters from Germany who are definitely sporting role models to me as they make everything they do look really effortless.

Lastly, my parents, as they both turned professional ballet dancers at the age of sixteen. I have always looked up to them, as they achieved their dream, so I want to achieve mine.

For more information on our High Performance Academy (HPA), contact the team using Facebook.